Retired meteorologist to share presentation on hurricanes

Published 7:00 am Saturday, May 12, 2018

Hurricanes are one of the major weather occurrences that South Mississippi residents prepare for every year.

With the season coming up soon, a local retired meteorologist will hold an informational presentation at the Margaret Reed Crosby Memorial Library on May 20 from 2 to 4 p.m. in coordination with Friends of the Library.

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

Skip Rigney, a retired meteorologist from the Naval Oceanographic Office at Stennis Space Center will be the presenter.

He said he expects the presentation to last about an hour, allowing time for questions and answers afterward.

Attendees can expect to learn about how hurricanes form, their threat to Pearl River County and how that threat differs from other areas, such as those directly on the coast.

Rigney also plans to cover how hurricane forecasting is conducted and how the advancements in technology have improved the accuracy of the practice over the past two to three decades.

He also intends to explain why those same advancements have not been able to improve the accuracy of intensity forecasting.

Rigney said the current information overload that typically occurs due to the abundance of technology may confuse most people. In response, he plans to give attendees some pointers on what to listen for in a forecast, and a list of reliable sources.

One of the things that people may pay too much attention to before each hurricane season are the seasonal outlooks, which predict how many named and severe storms each season will bring.

Rigney said he will speak about why people should not pay too much attention to a seasonal outlook.

“It does not matter if there are three or 23 storms, the real question is how they will affect you,” Rigney said.

That’s because even if there are only three named storms in a season, if just one causes major damage to an area, it could be considered a bad year for hurricanes in that area.

At the end of the presentation, Rigney said he will answer any questions the audience may have.